You’re tired. You’re overwhelmed. You have baby brain. Your vocabulary consists of baby talk. We get it! Life as a new mom is a big adjustment. On top of all that you’re dying to get back into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans…and still be able to sit or breathe. Even if it is a challenge to catch those zzz’s or get out of the house without Olympic-level organization and planning, we have a solution with a ton of benefits for new moms: yes, we’re talking about fitness.
Now before you shoot the messenger, let us walk you through 10 fitness benefits for new moms. We’re so convinced of these benefits because we’ve experienced them first hand not only with our staff, but our members too. So grab another coffee and take a read of all the benefits that are waiting for you….
1. Sleep better
Being a new mom means that sleep takes a back seat to…well, pretty much everything. In fact, a poll by the U.S. National Sleep Foundation found that 76 percent of parents have frequent sleep problems. When new moms sleep they often don’t sleep soundly. It’s like we are just waiting for the monitor to make a noise. But did you know that exercise actually helps you sleep better? Another study by the U.S. National Sleep Foundation found that people sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. That’s just two one hour classes and a 30 minute cardio session. We know you have it in you, and think of how much better you’ll feel when you’re well rested.
2. Eat better
It has been proven that learning new skills and improving in one area of your life automatically triggers a desire for improvements in another. Meaning, exercise triggers food choices, which is why you will typically start eating more healthy foods not long after starting a new fitness routine – even if diet changes weren’t originally part of the plan. Soon enough you will be rewarding yourself with fruits and vegetables because you don’t want to “blow” your workout. So get those skinny jeans to the front of your closet — they’ll be ready for you soon.
3. Increase energy
Less sleep, change in routine and tending to the constant needs of a baby can leave you with little energy to spare. But believe us when we say that regular physical activity can actually increase your energy. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your body and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily life as a new mom.
4. Build muscle
It might seem all too easy to focus on cardio, but keep in mind that lifting weights will give you an edge to lose the baby belly sooner. In fact, this article states that building muscle will help you lose 40 percent more fat. The reason: muscle burns fat. So if you combine weight training with cardio, you will not only be reaping the reward of burning more calories, you’ll also be losing more fat faster and toning up your body.
5. Get out of the house
It’s easy to feel cooped up at home with a new baby, doing the same routine everyday. It’s enough to make you go stir crazy! Even a trip to the grocery store starts to become a pleasure. Yet many new moms say they feel guilty leaving their new baby.
Well, here are 2 things to consider:
- Taking time for yourself out of the house is important. You will feel refreshed and re-energized, and you will be able to reconnect with yourself.
- Start off by taking your baby with you to the fitness class. At the Barrie Athletic Club, we offer a Kidz Club where your child can be watched in a safe environment while you work-out. Or join a Mum and Bubs class where baby joins in the work-out. Either option will get you out of the house and active.
6. Lift spirits
Being a new mom = ups and downs in moods. The changes can take a toll to the emotions and may leave you feeling a bit blue. If you need an emotional boost, a visit to the gym for even just a 30 minute work-out can begin to lift your spirits. The reason: physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
7. Meet new friends
If you’ve found yourself having conversations with your child’s Dora doll, maybe it’s time to get out and meet some new friends. There’s only so much baby talk you can handle! Our fitness club is the perfect place to meet other moms who will not only become your workout buddies at the gym, they may also become friends outside of the gym too. Our Mum and Bubs program is designed with moms in mind and leaves lots of opportunity for members to get to know each other…whether it’s on a stroller fit walk or a mom and baby class.
8. Professional networking
While we are fortunate in Canada to have an amazing one year maternity leave, it also leaves many women feeling disconnected from their profession and co-workers. At the Barrie Athletic Club, we have a weekly networking social every Friday from 4pm to 6pm. Come in for a workout and then stay a little longer to meet with other professionals, have a light snack and a beverage in our lounge.
If listening to the Wiggles has lost its lustre, you really need to get out and have some fun. Head to a fitness class, burn off some calories and have an action packed baby-free hour. Our classes have the latest music hits pumping, are fast paced (with the exception of relaxing yoga) and are full of cheers and encouragement from the instructor and your fellow classmates. Don’t believe working out can be fun? Try a Zumba class on us and then tell us what you think!
10. Lose weight
You may have been expecting this benefit sooner in the list, but we didn’t want to place focus on weight loss for new moms. We truly believe there are so many other benefits. When you’re sleeping better, eating better, your energy level is on the rise and you’re seeing the shape of muscle poking through, weight loss is inevitable if you are keeping up with a fitness routine. Keep the end goal in mind, don’t feel discouraged and consider all the benefits.
Let us convince you of these benefits in person. Grab a free 7-day pass and come out to discover all the fitness benefits for new moms.